THE least paid council worker will be getting K2, 346 as take home pay from the previous K1, 119 effective January 2016, a newly signed collective agreement has revealed.
Government, Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union (ZULAWU) and Fire Services Union of Zambia signed the new collective agreement in Lusaka.
The salary increase awarded to council workers ranges from 3 per cent to 67.7 per cent.
Local Government permanent secretary Misheck Lungu signed the collective agreement on behalf of Government to guide all local authorities in remunerating council workers in division II, III and VI in 2016.
Mr Lungu said during the negotiations, seven guiding principles were agreed including equal pay for equal work, life cycle of conditions of service, graded salary increase and the introduction of compulsory health, funeral insurance and life assurance.
The negotiating teams also agreed on consolidating all remunerative allowances into basic salary, maintenance of housing allowance and transport allowances as a percentage of basic salary to eligible employees, and retention of duty facilitating allowances.
“The parties also took into consideration the implementation of the decentralization programme by Government with regard to harmonization of salaries and conditions of service of local government service employees to be in tandem with their counterparts in the mainstream public service,” he said.
Mr Lungu commended President Edgar Lungu for increasing the allocation of the Local Government Equalisation Fund from K586 million to K717 million to supplement local generated revenues in councils to meet their service delivery needs and emoluments.
“It is estimated that councils will collectively raise a total of K1.2 billion from locally generated revenue in 2016,” he said.
Mr Lungu has since directed principal officers to develop strategies to improve their revenue collection efficiency.
He said Government would ensure that revenue was collected by the right agents.
And ZULAWU president Misheck Nyambose called on Government to increase funding to local authorities.
Mr Nyambose, who signed the agreement on behalf of ZULAWU members, demanded that the Road Development Agency should stop collecting fees for billboards mounted on highways.
He also said there was need to deal with the manipulation of payments of salaries in the system.
And Fire Services Union of Zambia’s Billings Chanda said the organisation has not received due attention from Government because workers continue operating under difficult circumstances.
Mr Chanda said the fire officers should be fully covered by insurance and called for frequent medical checks ups for the workers who were usually exposed to dangerous substances in their course of duty.